Interview: Rajesh Solanki

Rajesh Solanki,
Founder & CEO at Energos
 

“If World has to Transition to Greener Distributed Energy, Consumers will have to Co-Participate as Energy Prosumers”

While climate change is a big problem to solve and energy transition is going to be bigger than let us say, the telephony transition; however, changing consumer behavior is the key challenge for the energy industry. Having to sensitize business consumers to stop viewing energy as a commodity and see it as a finite resource has been a challenge. If the world has to transition to greener distributed energy systems, both residential and business consumers, will have to co-participate as energy prosumers in the future energy industry. In an exclusive interaction series with startup companies in the energy sector, Manu Tayal, Associate Editor, Energetica India, interacted with Rajesh Solanki, Founder & CEO, Energos. Here’re the edited excerpts from that interaction

“Shed some light on Energos including its vision.”

Energos was started in 2015 with the vision to form AI nodes on distributed energy systems to make them intelligent, self-optimizing and resilient. As per trends in the energy transition, there is a shift to green power, storage and electric vehicles (EV). Adding these new energy systems compels us to deal with issues like intermittent power, multidirectional energy flow, demand surges during high battery charging loads, & difficulty to curtail legacy loads like heating and cooling loads if demand exceeds available supply. At Energos, our approach is to take these as one single set of problems to solve, if the evolution to a greener distributed energy, must succeed. So, we do not have a piecemeal approach so to say, of being only an HVAC optimizer. Instead, we automate all behind-the-meter loads and energy sources, make the multi-directional energy flow autonomous and balance demand with available supply.

“Details about the technology and patent.”

Forming a single mesh of intelligent nodes, will help us to create a strong learning model of sharing data, sharing insights and even sharing energy in the future evolving distributed greener energy system. Our company has a USA patent granted for our unique technology.

“How you saw your journey so far with Shell E4 and any suggestion? What are your new targets set post your graduation?”

Shell E4 program has been transformational in re-assessing our product-market fit and the go-to-market. Through the program, we gained specific segment focus. We prepared Energos for global markets by understanding and assessing data risk management and data privacy readiness. The Shell E4 program also helps all start-ups to become more investment ready.
One of our focus segments that came out of our above study for Energos is, Gas stations and Convenience stores. To transform the gas station business, Shell must start selling battery charging services and battery swap services, alongside oil and other emerging energy forms.
While doing this transition, Shell retail gas stations must also conserve energy and water, in line with its net zero carbon goal.
Energos is demonstrating how Shell can achieve both these through our single end-to-end IOT and edge AI platform. Our YIVOBot helps to reduce energy cost by reducing energy consumption of air-conditioners, refrigerator and chiller in convenience stores. Our platform also helps in reduction of their operations & maintenance costs by digitizing DG set, back up battery & UPS, fuel dispensers and fuel level sensors. Shell team will get a live view of all remote gas stations, which can help to reduce manpower cost.
Additionally, our platform also optimizes the water consumption and monitors indoor & outdoor air quality at their gas stations, thus helping Shell with other sustainability goals. Soon, YIVOBot will balance loads and prevent demand surges during peak demand of EV charging loads. Thus, we are a single platform for autonomous distributed energy and sustainability and hope to be able to work with shell globally for this transformation.

“Current focus markets?”

We are focusing on India, USA, Australia, and South East Asia currently. However, we are open to work with partners in other countries.

“Shed some light on the Energos team and from where it works?”

We are a team of 20 people spread between India & USA. We have built deep technical and domain capabilities in our team. We have focused on building the right culture where everyone can lead achieving key outcomes.

“What scope do you see for your latest offerings? How do you plan to market them?”

We want to grow through partnerships and serve multi-site businesses through energy service providers.

“As an entrant do you find any challenges? If yes. Shed some light on it.”

While climate change is a big problem to solve and energy transition is going to be bigger than let us say, the telephony transition; however, changing consumer behavior is the key challenge for the energy industry. Having to sensitize business consumers to stop viewing energy as a commodity and see it as a finite resource has been a challenge. If the world has to transition to greener distributed energy systems, both residential and business consumers, will have to co-participate as energy prosumers in the future energy industry.

“What are your views on the government/corporate support for the start-up ecosystem in the country?”

The timing is right for core material companies, green asset aggregators and digital & data companies, to work in partnership with larger corporates for wider impact. Governments are providing the torch for enterprise to follow.

“Details about funding or investment, any new plan as well for this?”

We have done a seed round and will open our series A round sometime next year. I’m confident that there is enough smart money keen to capitalize on the acceleration of energy transition over the next 5-10 years. With great advisors & partners, and a good team to execute, we stand a fair chance to play an impactful role in the energy transition.

Interview 22/12/2020 by Manu Tayal
 
 
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